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Frogger (Tape)

Frogger (Tape)
Frogger (Tape)

SystemAtari 8-Bit

Sierra On-Line

Atari 8-Bit

Release Date: 1/1/1981
Manufacturer: Sierra On-Line
Donated By: Gregory William Crowell
Frogger is an arcade game introduced in 1981. It was developed by Konami, and licensed for worldwide distribution by Sega/Gremlin. The object of the game is to direct frogs to their homes one by one. To do this, each frog must avoid cars while crossing a busy road and navigate a river full of hazards. Skillful players may obtain some bonuses along the way. The game is regarded as a classic from the golden age of video arcade games and was noted for its novel gameplay and theme. It was also an early example of a game using more than one CPU, as it used two Z80 processors. Frogger is still popular and versions can be found on many Internet game sites.

The game was originally going to be titled "Highway Crossing Frog," but the executives at Sega felt it did not capture the true nature of the game and was changed simply to "Frogger". In addition to inspiring numerous clones, this game inspired an unofficial sequel by Sega in 1991 called Ribbit which featured improved graphics and simultaneous two-player action.

Like many games of the early 1980s, Frogger was ported to a wide variety of home systems for personal use. In the United States, Frogger was licensed by Sega to multiple companies for conversion: Parker Brothers held ROM-cartridge rights, while Sierra On-Line held magnetic-media rights. Several platforms were capable of accepting both ROM cartridges and magnetic media, thus these systems received multiple versions of the game. Sierra also sublicensed their magnetic-media rights to developers who published for systems not normally supported by Sierra (eg Cornsoft published the official TRS-80 and Timex Sinclair 1000 ports); because of this, even the Atari 2600 received multiple releases: a cartridge from Parker Bros. and a cassette for the Supercharger from Starpath. The Tomy Tutor version was directly licensed from Konami themselves, although it is not clear if they developed it.

In addition to these official releases, there have been numerous unofficial clones including Froggy for the ZX Spectrum released by DJL Software in 1984, Acornsoft's Hopper (1983) for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron, A&F Software's Frogger (1983) for BBC Micro and ZX Spectrum, Solo Software's Frogger for the Sharp MZ-700 in the UK in 1984, and a version for the NewBrain under the name Leap Frog.

Hasbro Interactive released a new version for Microsoft Windows and the PlayStation in 1997 (in this game, Frogger is green with an orange stripe). The ports to the Mega Drive/Genesis and Super NES in 1998 were the last games released for those consoles in North America. A Java port of the game is currently available for compatible mobile phones.

A prototype game based on gameplay elements of Frogger was developed for Sega Game Gear, but never released—presumably due to legal issues between Sega and Konami. The prototype wasn't a direct port of the arcade game, as it had additional features and redesigned levels.

In 2005, InfoSpace teamed up with Konami Digital Entertainment to create the mobile game Frogger for Prizes, in which players across the U.S. compete in multiplayer tournaments to win daily and weekly prizes. A port of Frogger was released on the Xbox Live Arcade for the Xbox 360 on July 12, 2006. It was developed by Digital Eclipse and published by Konami. It has two new gameplay modes: Versus speed mode and Co-op play. Some of the music, including the familiar Frogger theme, was removed from this version and replaced with other music.

The 1981 Atari 2600 game Freeway is often considered a clone of Frogger, but both games were developed independently of the other, and both were released in 1981. Freeway, too, had a similar working title as well, "Bloody Human Freeway".

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